March 25, 2006
I have heard that some have requested a post from me (Kim). I apologize for being MIA for such a long time. The reason I have been gone (in large part) is work. The good news is that my work provides plenty of material for posts. One of the most difficult, but occasionally most funny, parts of my job is that so many of the people I work with have hearing issues. For the most part I have learned to adjust and I am now in the habit of reading things very loudly and slowly when I read aloud (a habit my Bible study has now adjusted to...). But there are still some moments when misunderstandings because of these hearing problems create interesting exchanges. Like the other day when I had expertly maneuvered a resident into his spot in the dining room, but tripped over another resident's wheelchair while trying to back away from the table. I picked myself up and laughed as I said, "My goodness! I am such a klutz!" The residents at the table all looked at me oddly and I wondered why. I soon found out when one of the residents loudly yelled, with an appalled look on her face, "You're such a slut?!" unfortunately no one in the dining room seemed to have a problem hearing HER. The residents aren't the only ones to have problems hearing however. One day I was in talking with this wonderful, sweet woman. We spent almost a half an hour talking about the Ash Wednesday Mass that morning and knitting (I've always wanted to learn, she's a fabulous knitter), and what wonderful grandchildren she has. The entire conversation had me convinced she was a quiet, modest woman when suddenly she paused, looked deeply into my eyes and said with quiet intensity, "You really have a nice piece of a--" I was dumbfounded. How did this woman know that phrase? Could she possibly even know what she had said or was she trying to say something different and that's how it came out? I was desperately searching for the proper response when she pointed to her forehead and whispered, "Does mine show as well as yours?" See, that morning, when the volunteer came around to give ashes to the residents and staff, she slipped a little when doing mine and I had a very dark cross that covered my entire forehead. The woman, seeing this, was telling me that I had a nice piece of ASH...I'm just a little hard of hearing.